Archives

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Wende Dikec

 

“Tiger Lily” by Wende Dikec (Inkspell Publishing)
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“Who are you?” The words sounded garbled as they escaped from my lips, but he seemed to understand. He raised one dark eyebrow in surprise.

“You can see me?” he asked, his voice deep and husky. I nodded, trying to give him my best “duh” look. Hard to do with tubes coming out of my orifices.

Around my age and good looking in a bad-boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks sort of way, he caused me to feel a little hot and bothered, and not just because he’d made himself at home in the middle of my hospital room. He smoldered with the kind of sexy I’d only seen in movies, and in the “Hunk of the Month” calendar I kept hidden in my desk drawer in my room. There was something strange about him, too, besides his obvious appeal. He looked oddly fuzzy around the edges, like a blurry photo taken when someone moves at just the wrong moment. Even as I squinted at him and tried really hard to focus, he never quite solidified, and the effort it took exhausted me.

It must be the drugs, I thought as I drifted off to sleep. A nice and very comforting idea, but completely wrong.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Wende and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

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Golden Leaf Spotlight on Best First Book: Jessica Calla

 

“The Love Square” by Jessica Calla (Limitless Publishing)
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As he studied Jenna’s warm skin, her big, brown eyes, her pink lips, he remembered Uncle Nino’s party. The day she moved into her apartment downstairs. The first time she told him she loved him, and the time he refused to let her love him. He thought of how angelic she looked on her bed that morning with Dylan, the sun shining down on her bare back.

And today, with her on the grass in her dance rehearsal clothes, her hair back in a messy ponytail, he couldn’t remember a time she looked more beautiful, because in her eyes he saw what he had been trying to avoid since he met her.

Intimacy, yes, but more…

Love.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Jessica and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Erotic Romance: Opal Carew

Congratulations to Opal, who is a double-finalist in the Erotic Romance category! Check out excerpts from both her Golden Leaf nominated books.

“Hard Ride” by Opal Carew (St. Martin’s Griffin)
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As Liv walked down the dimly lit alleyway, she wondered if she’d made a grave mistake. She heard a sound behind her and glanced over her shoulder. Her breath caught at the shadowy shapes of three men behind her. She lurched forward and ran smack into a big, solid body. She gasped as she pushed herself back from a man with a broad, muscular chest and thick, tattooed arms. 

He grasped her arms and propelled her backward toward the building, then she felt the brick wall at her back. All she could see of his face was the steely glint of his eyes. Her heart pounded.

“Do you really think it’s a good idea to be walking through a dark alley alone at night?” His words came out low and fierce.

Tears threatened, but something about his voice nagged at her. There was something about it that was . . . familiar.

He leaned in closer. “But you always were lacking in common sense.”

Shock vaulted through her. “Devin?”

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)


“My Best Friend’s Stepfather” by Opal Carew (St. Martin’s Griffin)

5_18_mybestfriendsstepfather_hrAshley jerked awake. She didn’t know if seconds or minutes had passed, but she found herself stretched out on the bed. She gazed up to see Dare’s face, his expression filled with concern.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and stared at him in awe. “That was incredible.”

He chuckled. “Well, I have to admit, that’s the first time I’ve ever made a woman faint.”

She laughed, feeling delightfully giddy. “Feel free to do it again anytime.”

He lay down beside her and drew her against his naked body. “Believe me. I will.”

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Opal and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Paranormal Romance: Laura Welling

 

“Heir To The Pack” by Laura Welling (Self-published)
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She put it all together and looked at him again. He was a glorious wild thing, lying on the floor like a pet. An enormous pet. With her toddler asleep on him as if he were no more than the family dog. This man-wolf-whatever, her former lover, the father of her son, this beautiful beast.

Annie sagged down on to the rug. “Words fail me,” she said.

His jaws opened, and she could have sworn the wolf laughed at her. He turned to nudge his nose at Jack.

“You want me to take him?” Wag. “All right.” She leaned forward and gathered still-sleeping Jack into her arms. When she sat back, Dash stood.

His midnight fur rippled. A shimmer swept over him, a wave of velvet darkness, and in less time than the wag of a tail, the wolf disappeared, replaced by Dash, sitting cross-legged on the rug. Naked, again, of course.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Laura and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Paranormal Romance: Katrina Snow

 

“Forbidden” by Katrina Snow (KL Andersen)
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Kate took in a long resolute breath and uttered, “Very well, collect your kiss.”

Bregovi’s left brow shot up, then a smile crept across his face. She worried he had caught onto her plan, but his lazy step forward reassured her he had not. Reaching as if to embrace him, she quickly pulled his rapier from its sheath.

Men on both sides cried out in alarm.

Bregovi grinned.

Kate wished he’d stop doing that. Smiling at her. On her sixth escape attempt, she’d met a dockworker with a sharp jaw, powerful build and grin that sparked wicked thoughts. No man had ever topped him. Until now. The bandit had the kind of face and form that drove sculptors to marble and maidens to sin. How annoying.

“Still want that kiss?” she asked, circling him, rapier at the ready.

“Absolutely,” he whispered in a husky tone, starting a slow circle of his own.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Katrina and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

 

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Paranormal Romance: Marissa Doyle

 

“Skin Deep” by Marissa Doyle (Self-published)
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He had stopped rocking, but still stroked slow circles on the skin of her back and side. In the nighttime silence of the house, with his eyes closed, touch and scent suddenly seemed much bigger, more engrossing. Her skin was soft under his hand, and her hair under his cheek was smooth and so redolent of her—

She let go of his robe and slid her hand up his bare chest to his shoulder, then slowly down again, but tentatively, as if she were afraid he might protest, and he realized she too knew that if they let go, the moment would pass and they would never touch again.

“Alasdair,” she whispered, and he shivered as he felt her breath against the side of his throat. “Don’t you dare let me go.”

And then she reached up to turn his face to hers and kissed him.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Marissa and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

Today’s the LAST day to register for the conference. Visit http://www.njromancewriters.org/ for more information and to register. Registration is open until October 4th.

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Paranormal Romance: Dee Davis

 

“Cottage in the Mist” by Dee Davis (Self-published)
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“You are awake,” Bram said, stating the obvious, but then she had a way of stealing his words.

She nodded and ducked her head, clearly embarrassed.

“Dinna turn from me, Lily.  There is no shame here.”  And as he said the words he knew that they were true.  This was his woman.  He knew it in his heart and in his soul.  She belonged to him.  And he to her. 

“I’m not ashamed,” she said, offering a small smile.  “Just feeling a little odd.  As if I’ve woken in your arms a million times before.  It’s silly, I know…”

“But ‘tis the truth,” he whispered.  “I feel it, too.”

She lifted her face, her eyes meeting his.  “Then this isn’t a dream?”

“If it is, then I hope never to awaken.” 

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Dee and all our Golden Leaf finalists! Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 14, 2016.

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit http://www.njromancewriters.org/ for more information and to register. Registration is open until October 4th.